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Donor group pledges to boost trade in Lesotho

’Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — The executive director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework, Dorothy Tembo, says her organisation is committed to assisting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) boost trade.

The Enhanced Integrated Framework is a multi-donor programme which seeks to support LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system.

Speaking after a three-day workshop in Maseru on Thursday, Tembo said they are committed to promote economic growth and sustainable development within the region.

She said all 15 EIF countries had received M120 million each to boost their projects.

The conference was attended by 15 Least Developed Countries from southern and eastern Africa.

The countries which attended the workshop were Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

In a statement released before the workshop, Tembo said: “Our Maseru workshop gives us a real chance to drive forward an agenda of prosperity for all through trade in eastern and southern Africa.”

The principal secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Co-operatives and Marketing, Teleko Ramotšoari, said they were grateful to have been accorded an opportunity to host the workshop.

“We had not participated as the Ministry of Trade only but other ministries and non-governmental organisations got a chance to take part as well,” Ramotšoari said.

He said the project will influence how the national budget will be formulated in future.

Ramotšoari said the EIF was currently assisting Lesotho run several projects like the mushroom project in Masianokeng, as well as the wool and mohair projects around the country.  

UN co-ordinator and UNDP resident representative, Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie quoted the finance minister’s 2011/2012 budget speech on MDGs.

She said “we have to have economy that accelerates growth and we should do business in an unusual way”.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was one of projects on EIF’s  agenda.

The programme, which is a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme is currently helping 47 LDCs worldwide.

One of the workshop’s aims was to formulate, implement, monitor and develop projects as well as to how to incorporate trade into national development strategies.

The government of Lesotho and others from the region were allowed to share their experiences on the implementation of EIF programmes.

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